Character is what you are in the dark. Dwight Moody.
There’s a mega social media platform that just seems to be getting more scandalous by the day. Not gonna mention any names, but it goes like this: You read, search, or browse online and the next time you use this social media platform, BAM! There it is!
It’s no secret that with life online, your personal interests are tracked. These interests are then used in targeted advertising.
MAELSTROM: This blog has a few ads too, and I have been promised kickbacks for clicks, which has YET to happen! However, I do not pay for advertising.
It’s the way of the new digital world. I have known this for quite some time. Such is progress . . . Such is life online.
So, in my search for like-minded people of art venues, book recommendations and other nerdy and wordy things, I started looking at groups on this mega social media platform. I have found some awesome groups for such things as rock and plant identification (there’s a story behind that one, and actually I have learned quite a lot).
I now recognize some more common plant species in my area, including the mystery plant in my back yard that I have so lovingly protected for going on three years. I’ve also found out it’s an endangered species of primitive fern that is most definitely NOT native to this side of the country . . . But I digress . . .
Anyway, I had a group “suggestion” by this mega social media platform, based upon the internet “powers that be” stalking my activity. The description of the closed group sounded quite interesting and right up my alley! So a requested to join and a few minutes later, I was in!
It was a new group that was obviously part of a paid promotion, as it grew quite rapidly. Being the me that I am, I was a quiet observer, only chiming in from time to time when the urge to give my opinion was just too overwhelming to control. Mostly, I watched the dynamics of the group progress to OBVIOUS targeted marketing.
The group “leaders” (though perhaps also mis-leaders) tried quite persistently to engage the group as a whole, encouraging members to open up. After a few weeks, it became quite evident to me that they were fishing to see who was interested in what.
They also built themselves up to be “gurus”, and perhaps they are, though I doubt that they are much more than marketing “gurus”. That’s all fine and dandy if you’re selling a car, a book, or ART . . . (hehehehehe) but not when you’re trying to sell comfort and peace. It’s disturbing actually.
But still I watched, growing increasingly quiet. What puzzled me though, is that there were a few “members” of the group that were silent early on, but later seemed quite chatty on almost every single group discussion.
A few weeks ago, the (mis)leaders started offering “answers”. Then last week they announced that they had a big “surprise”. About the same time, they added a new “guru” to their entourage. This individual spoke with similar authority as the other two.
“So okay, I’ll take the bait. I’ll stay a little longer just to see the ‘BIG’ announcement.”
Well, here it goes . . . They’re starting a school to help others become spiritual “gurus” which, by the way, is in the early stages. The website is up, but they are still working on the “big plans”. Sorry, not surprised.
But the real kicker is this . . . In their “private” group, they eventually introduced the newest co-leader as their social media marketing expert and website designer. Well today, they started promoting the public “page” for their new “school” on this mega social media platform.
(Remember, this “school” hasn’t officially opened yet.)
So for the sake of curiosity, I checked out the public page. Nosy me 😂😂😂
There were already reviews for the school . . . FIVE STAR REVIEWS (the max rating)! The reviewers gushed about how marvelous the classes were, how AWESOME the instructors were, how WONDERFUL the curriculum was designed (blah blah blah).
Guess who wrote one of the reviews . . .
The very one they introduced as their social media marketing agent and site designer! The others were the few “members” of the group that seemed to chime in regularly.
It really looks like a scam to me. A very well thought out scam. That’s so scandalous! Who does that?!?
The sad part is, there are people in the world who wholeheartedly try to help others, and they are genuinely knowledgeable teachers. But I dare say that the ratio of genuine to scammers in the “spiritual” realm is astronomical (pun intended).
I’m so glad I remained skeptical, but, let me tell you, It was really REALLY hard to leave the private group without chiming in one last time, and even more difficult to control the urge to point out that the first 5-star review was from their social media marketer.
Sometimes it pays to err on the side of caution!
Don’t be scandalous, and don’t get duped, Willow🍃